Today, Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer unveiled their new Spring/Summer 2020 collection for their womenswear label Coperni – and therefore made an anticipated return to the fashion industry.
The designer-duo started Coperni in 2013, and the brand's collections soon earned them accolades from the industry, which eventually led them to win the prestigious ANDAM First Collection Prize in 2014. That same year, they laid their brand dormant and signed on as artistic directors to revive Courrèges. After only two years, they resigned and decided to pick up where they left off at Coperni.
A somewhat unexpected turn of events – all the more so if one considers that most of the young designers of their generation prefer the security and reputation of an established luxury brand to the risk-taking and uncertainty that an independent brand implies. In fact, most of their peers are not hesitating to leave their own projects behind once LVMH or Kering calls – wink-wink to Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent. Not Vaillant and Meyer, who, in a courageous move, decided to take the risk of a new beginning.
"For this collection, we wanted to explore human memory in relation to technological memory, the so-called cloud," explained Arnaud Vaillant backstage after his presentation. "The theme of the collection is our connection to the world and to technology."
When they were at the helm of the French heritage brand, their practical styles were all about "less concept, more clothes." At their own fashion house, however, it was precisely the other way around. The focus was set on a strong concept, but the clothes, alas, felt almost secondary. However, the stripped-down femininity which they championed throughout the past was present in their latest collection. And the willingness to explore the practical side of technology and ultra-connectivity, even more so.
Embroideries inspired by electromagnetic waves, WIFI-sign shaped handbags, Bluetooth belts, and even a tuxedo whose shape turns into a fluorescent frame once pictured with an iPhone – a next-level Instastories filter, where the filter trigger is an actual component of the clothes – all made a clear statement: Vaillant and Meyer want to tap into the here and now and design collections that are skyrocketing into the future.
The prices are adapted to their target audience: t-shirts start at 90 euros, while more elaborate pieces retail at about 1000 euros. The designers are careful not to tug on the purse strings of a younger demographic. “We want them to be able to buy shoes for 350 euros, not 700 euros, Vaillant said. “It’s about making generous designs that are more accessible to our own generation.”
In addition, the designer-duo teamed up with French luxury fabric manufacturer Dormeuil to offer a 100% traceable product. The QR Code label sewn inside each piece of the collection makes it possible, thanks to blockchain technology, to explore the origin of the fabrics used, from the breeding of the animal from Patagonia to the manufacturing of the actual woolen fashion outfit. A step forward in the traceability of clothing that certainly deserves to be acknowledged. However, whether or not Coperni’s take on womens wear will become the go-to uniform of a young, empowered, and technologically-advanced generation, remains to be seen. Only time will tell.